In today's Haaretz, there's an article entitled Hamas Official: Palestinians Should Fire at Israel from West Bank. Though we don't personally feel the need, it creates yet another opportunity to remind ourselves about who and what motivate the terrorists on the other side of the fence.
"Palestinians should initiate rocket attacks on Israel from the West Bank, Israel Radio quoted Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar as saying in an interview on Sunday. Zahar told the east Jerusalem newspaper Al Quds that the fact that "such launches should happen in the West Bank as well [as Gaza] is inevitable." He also stressed that Hamas would never change its policy, saying that the solution lies in "resistance"... The Hamas leader also stressed that Hamas would never change its policy, even if it won the next elections, saying that the solution lies in "resistance.""If we had been interested in forfeiting our rights, I would have been in Washington by now," Zahar told Al Quds." (21-Jun-10)Elsewhere he is quoted asking: "Why should this fire come only from the Strip?" Meaning: why don't other people fire into the concentrations of Jews inside Israel? How come it's always left to us, here in Gaza, with our meagre resources? Why are our Fatah brethren in the West Bank not playing a larger role in this holy attempt at massacre?
Question (22-Jun-07): "The militant wings of Fatah and Hamas have been fully armed over the last few months. Are these weapons still in circulation?Mahmoud Zahar: There are naturally very many weapons around now. Two years ago, one bullet in Gaza cost around €3.50 -- now it would cost 35 cents. The American aid money has been translated into weapons. Thank you, America!"
By I thought now might be a good time to ask about his perfectly tailored outfit. I found it hard to believe he bought it in Gaza. "It's a nice suit you're wearing...where'd you get it from...Syria?"
At first he laughed but then got serious. "No. Hezbollah."
"So this is part of the Hassan Nasrallah's '07 fall collection?" I asked, referring to the group's leader.
Zahar let out a deep laugh along with his security staff. "Yes. We get support from more places than Iran and Syria."
Confused? Perhaps that's the plan."A few days ago, al Zahar openly attacked the rockets fired from Gaza to Israel on the Iranian Al Alam television station and described them as “suspicious [action].” Al Zahar said, “some elements are firing rockets (towards Israel) that do not have warheads in order to take advantage of this in the media,” adding that the Gazan government is following up on this matter on the security level in order to reveal the truth behind it. He further stated that Hamas knows the real motives [behind the firing of rockets]."
So what to make of a man who openly (at least some of the time) calls for towns and communities to be rocketed and innocent people to be murdered so long as they belong to a different religion?
Perhaps we can allow Ahmed Al-Jarallah to provide some perspective. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the influential Arab Times, and here is what he published yesterday:
"How can the world believe the people, who talk about the poverty in Gaza, if they wear clothes designed by Yves Saint Laurent and Versace or smoke Cuban cigars? These people include Khalid Meshaal, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub and numerous other Hamas and Fatah leaders. They have been trading in Palestinian blood, so they are happy every time Israel attacks the innocent people in Palestine... Will the Arabs ever learn from their experiences?"
Suits. The world is full of them, but very few of them have quite the capacity for mayhem that Zahar does.